Must-Have Monday #65

Posted 20th December 2021 by Sia in Must-Have Mondays / 0 Comments

Just five more days till Christmas! But even this late in the year we have a few new books releasing – we’re getting THREE this week!

Daughter of the Sea by Elisabeth Hobbes
Genres: Historical Fantasy
Published on: 20th December 2021

On a windswept British coastline, the tide deposits an unexpected gift...

It was the cry that she first noticed, the plaintive wail that called to her over the crash of winter waves. Wrapped only in a sealskin, the baby girl looks up at Effie and instantly captures her heart. She meant only to temporarily foster the young orphan, but when news reaches Effie that her husband has been lost at sea, and months pass without anyone claiming the infant, she embraces her new family—her son, Jack, and her adopted daughter, Morna.

Effie has always been an outcast in her village, the only granddaughter of a woman people whisper is a witch, so she's used to a solitary existence. But when Midsummer arrives, so, too, does a man claiming to be Morna's father. There's no denying Lachlan is the girl's kin, and so, Effie is surprised when he asks her to continue looking after his daughter, mysteriously refusing to explain why. She agrees, but when he returns six months hence, she pushes him for answers. And Lachlan tells a story she never anticipated... one of selkies, legend, and the power of the sea...

I have been promised SELKIES, and I will always show up for a selkie story! I’m tentatively hopeful that this is a book with a male selkie – most of the myths are about female selkies, so getting new stories about male ones is always nice. Even if it’s not, though, the description sounds like this ought to be fairly gentle, hopefully good for curling up with.

And it’s out today already!

The Guardians of Saveba: An African Fantasy by Barbara Griffin
Genres: Fantasy
Representation: African cast
Published on: 22nd December 2021

"The Guardians of Saveba" is a fantasy adventure story of a young African hero whose sterling character, bravery, and link to the spiritual world make him the perfect protector of Saveba—the only kingdom in West Africa to escape the scourge of foreign enslavement and colonialism. Despite the tragic backdrop of the Transatlantic slave trade, this is a positive tale replete with castles, kings and queens, villains, killer hawks, the underworld, and romance. Dive into this one-of-a-kind story of hope where people and animals unite to conquer evil. Although haunting images of the Middle Passage appear throughout the text, these painful symbols do not diminish the optimism at the core of the story nor the courage and integrity of the African people.

Unlike most legendary warriors, Sema is a gentle soul who abhors anger and confrontation. He is a brilliant artist and peacemaker who is more at home carving stone and creating music than battling foes and humiliating those who do not possess his gifts. Unaware of his exceptional identity, Sema lives an ordinary life in the village, along with his sister, as the foster child of King Tenkamenin and Queen Malia. However, midway through the story, he learns that he is a member of the Guardian Line, spiritual emissaries created many years ago by benevolent gods to protect Saveba from the destruction that has overtaken much of Africa. Embracing his sacred charge, Sema travels through the portals of time and space to confront the sinister otherworldly beings plotting to destroy Saveba.

Not only am I immediately interested in a hidden or protected African kingdom – who else thought of Wakanda??? – but I like the sound of a hero who’s anti-violence. I know nothing at all about this book – I haven’t seen a single early review – but I’m very curious, and definitely want to give it a try.

Dust-Up at the Crater School by Chaz Brenchley
Genres: Sci Fi
Published on: 24th December 2021

Christmas is coming to the Crater School, so the girls must celebrate. So says the Earth calendar. But Mars does not respect school rules. Nor does the Red Planet have much respect for Earth weather. Why bother with a white Christmas when Martian weather can be far more dangerous?

Then again, perhaps this is for the best. The people most likely to arrive at the Crater School with snow on their boots are Russian spies.

Three Twins at the Crater School, book one in this series, came out earlier this year and became an instant favourite – so I was FREAKING DELIGHTED when I found out we were getting a sequel so soon!!! I thought it might be a short story or novella covering Christmas at the Crater School, especially since it’s being released on Christmas Eve, but nope: it’s over 300 pages! BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!

Will you be reading any of these? Let me know!

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